B-squad basketball boys finish strong

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 8, 2003

The 2002-03 Albert Lea B-squad boys’ basketball team faced some tough obstacles and came up with a very strong finish, winning 4 of its last 5 games, dropping the one to Rochester Mayo.

Members finishing the season on the B-Squad were Andrew Irvine, Preston Dahl, Don Graves, Ryan Truesdell, Brock Sorenson, Zach Marty, Connor Keyeski, Adam Lohse, Parker Skophammer, Tyler Hoenisch, Travis Klatt, Jeff Bohlman and Trent Miller.

&uot;This was a year where the players on this team all worked to find a little of their own identity,&uot; commented coach Jeff Marty.

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Their classmate Mike Behrends was moved to the varsity at the beginning of the season, providing an opportunity for some others to see a different role on the team. It also forced some players to learn to play roles they were not as comfortable with., according to Marty.

The Bengals started the year with an additional player, Ryan Moore, who was later moved up to the varsity full time.

&uot;Each one of the athletes stepped forward when these changes occurred and made significant improvements in their play,&uot; said Marty.

The high point of the season, according to Marty, was the manner in which the players matured together and finished very strong, beginning with a victory over an Austin club that had beaten them by 16 points earlier. The Bengals turned the tables with a 10-point victory. The next two were close, a two-point victory at Winona and a 60-57 overtime win against USC.

Smiles were never as bright as when the team capped the season with a nail-biter at Rochester Century, coming out on top with a 44-43 victory while holding off a charging Panther team that scored 15 points in the final period.

&uot;This team was a very hard working group that continued to push themselves to be better every week,&uot; said Marty. &uot;It was great to see them develop into the roles they were asked to play, even though they were not always comfortable or happy with that role. We want to teach the boys at the B-Squad level to play great defense and to value rebounds more than other aspects of the game, and I feel these players learned to see what an important part of a game those two things can be as they played their best defense and outrebounded three of the last five teams they faced on their way to the victories.

&uot;Thank you to all the parents, friends and relatives who supported and continue to support these athletes in their efforts.

With continued work at improving, the future looks bright for these young men.&uot;